Photo: MG Motor.
Photo: MG Motor.

MG ZS EV vs conventional SUVs: What's the big deal

  • At a likely price point of 25 lakh, the MG ZS EV will compete with Hyundai Kona and also bigger SUVs like Endeavour and Fortuner.

MG Motor recently unveiled the ZS EV SUV after managing to create a massive buzz around its first electric offering in the country. While the pricing of the vehicle will only be known when the ZS EV is launched in January of 2020, it is expected to be pegged at around 25 lakh.

The possible price tag of 25 lakh would peg the ZS EV against a host of SUVs. While it will primarily rival Hyundai's Kona which is priced at 23 lakh (ex showroom), the MG Motor vehicle will also have to compete with SUVs which make use of conventional petrol and diesel engines. Vehicles like the Endeavour and Fortuner start at around 28 lakh (ex showroom) and are visibly more imposing in terms of their physical and road presence.

What MG is banking on, however, is the all-electric technology in the ZS EV SUV to find favour among a new breed of buyers. Speaking to HT Auto, Gaurav Gupta, COO at MG Motor, said that buying the ZS EV would be also about adopting a lifestyle change. "The running cost of the ZS EV would be only a fraction of what it costs to own and drive a car making use of conventional fuels," he said. "The all-electric battery pack gives our car a range of 340 kilometers and there are a number of charging options. We are also expanding the charging options that buyers will have when on the move."

It would typically take six to eight hours to charge the ZS EV using an AC power outlet. The time drops to around 60 minutes if using a DC Super Charger. These numbers are a lot more than what it would take to take a petrol or diesel vehicle to the pump for a refill. Nonetheless, the benefits of using an electric vehicle in the larger scheme of things could possibly outweigh the time it takes to power it on. For starters, the ZS EV can be plugged in overnight and at residences and office spaces. This means it can be charged while parked and would require no effort on the part of the driver, besides taking the charger and plugging it in. Then there is the obvious benefit of a much lower running cost. Over a sample period of driving an electric vehicle vis a vis a petrol or diesel vehicle can lead to substantial savings. Post-sales service too is likely to cost less because the parts in use won't require extensive overhauling.

Then there is the biggest advantage of them all.

ZS EV promises to subdue emissions with an iron hand. Inside the car, there is a PM 2.5 filter which, says MG, would bring down levels as high as 300 to under 30 in under 30 minutes. The display on the vehicle would also show how much C02 has been saved.

If power is a concern, it shouldn't be. The ZS EV reportedly goes from stationery to 100 kmph in a little over 8 seconds. While the Endeavour takes 11.70 seconds for the same, the Fortuner is even slower at 12.48 seconds. Also, and significantly, these vehicles are fuel guzzlers.

On the flip side though, the ZS EV is good for a family of five at best. SUVs like the Fortuner and Endeavour are full-fledged seven-seaters with some amount of off-roading abilities as well.

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